cover image The Skin Map

The Skin Map

Stephen R. Lawhead, Thomas Nelson, $24.99 (426p) ISBN 978-1-59554-804-7

A promising tale of interdimensional voyaging disintegrates rapidly into a clunky and incoherent mess. Londoner Kit Livingstone and his unpleasant girlfriend, Wilhelmina, are separated and sent back to an alternate 17th-century England. There Kit's great-grandfather Cosimo reveals secretive time travelers are racing the evil Lord Archelaeus Burleigh to locate a map holding an earthshaking secret. Stranded when Cosimo vanishes into a portal, Kit falls in with the beautiful Lady Fayth while Wilhelmina struggles to survive on her own in Prague. Lawhead (The Endless Knot) has come up with plenty of clever concepts and colorful settings, but they can't compensate for thinly drawn, incompetent characters and the lack of a coherent story line. (Sept.)